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13 Apr 2015
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Rachel Maddow once said via Twitter: “If the American music business made any sense, guys like John Moreland would be household names.” Well, the singer-songwriter isn’t a household name—yet. He may be on his way, though, considering the fact that his music has been featured on Sons of Anarchy, and he’s performing at Stagecoach on Saturday, April 25. John Moreland has spent most of his life in Tulsa, Okla. He was singing and writing songs by the age of 10, and fronted hardcore punk bands in high school. “When I was about 12 or so, the first music I found that was on my own was punk rock,” Moreland, 29, said during a recent phone interview. “I loved Minor Threat, and I loved a lot of D.C. hardcore and ’80s hardcore, but I’ve been through every punk rock phase. I went through the Social Distortion phase; I went through the…
10 Apr 2015
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It’s becoming an age-old tradition to gripe about the Coachella headliners. However, if you look past the big names on the poster, you’ll find a lot of great acts. Here are some to consider including in your Coachella schedule. Friday, April 10 and 17 The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger I’m amazed that this band is listed so low on Friday’s lineup. The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger consists of American fashion model Charlotte Kemp Muhl and Sean Lennon (yes, John Lennon’s son). After meeting each other and falling in love at Coachella in the mid-2000s, Lennon realized Muhl had talent as a singer. In 2010, they released their first album, Acoustic Sessions, which was warmly received. This band definitely belongs at Coachella. Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band Sadly, this is another small-print booking. Locals should recognize this name—and if you don’t, you have some…
07 Apr 2015
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Benjamin Booker has had a busy couple of years: His blues-meets-punk style has gained him a growing audience, as well as the attention of Jack White and major music publications. He’s made appearances at Lollapalooza and other big-name festivals—and he’ll be at Coachella on Saturday, April 11 and 18. Booker was born in Virginia Beach, Va., into a military family—his father served in the Navy—and eventually settled in Tampa, Fla. Booker wasn’t available for a phone interview due to the fact he was touring in Europe, but he did answer questions via e-mail. “We lived in Virginia Beach, which I believe holds the entire Atlantic fleet. It was better than it was for most,” Booker said. “We never moved until after my dad retired. My only memory is passing by huge ships every day in the car, and some (people) walking across a terrifyingly thin metal walkway to get on…
07 Apr 2015
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Southern California audiophiles and devout music fans know KCRW well: The NPR affiliate is considered one of the best stations in the country for music-lovers. Therefore, it’s somewhat appropriate that the station’s music director, Jason Bentley, will be DJing at SoCal’s biggest music festival, Coachella, on Friday, April 10 and 17. Bentley said he attended an underground party while he was in college, and it fascinated him that people from varied backgrounds and places were all able to come together. It was a positive force that he wanted to be part of. That led to his DJ career, which in turn led him to festivals such as Coachella. “There is such a huge surge in festivals now. I’m having festival fatigue,” Bentley said during a recent phone interview. “I understand the dynamics of the industry have changed so much to where recorded music doesn’t sell. … I love playing live…
06 Apr 2015
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If Iggy Pop is the Godfather of Punk, Keith Morris the Warrior of Punk. The former Black Flag and Circle Jerks frontman is almost 60 years old, but he’s not slowing down: Since 2010, he’s been fronting his new band, Off! Off! will be playing at Coachella on Sunday, April 12 and 19. Black Flag was one of the first Los Angeles punk bands to make an infamous name for itself. The band recorded its debut EP, Nervous Breakdown, in 1978; it contained what would become four of Black Flag’s most-well-known songs: “Nervous Breakdown,” “Fix Me,” “I’ve Had It” and “Wasted.” However, Morris left Black Flag in 1979 due to disputes with band mate Greg Ginn—and a severe cocaine addiction. Morris soon formed the Circle Jerks with Greg Hetson (who later went on to join Bad Religion). Fun fact: The Circle Jerks also included Zander Schloss, half of semi-local band…
03 Apr 2015
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It’s that time of the year again: Coachella and Stagecoach are here, and things are crazy before the season begins to wind down. Consider April to be last call before the summer heat comes. I will be throwing my third NestEggg Food Bank Benefit Show, this time at the Coachella Valley Art Scene, at 8 p.m., Saturday, April 4. On the bill: John Robbins, The Rebel Noise, Alchemy and CIVX. There will also be a closing DJ set by Pedro Le Bass. The Rebel Noise and CIVX have recently had to reshape after changes to their lineups—but both bands are back and sound great. There will also be raffle items. Admission is $10, and all proceeds go to the NestEggg Food Bank. Coachella Valley Art Scene, 68571 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Cathedral City; www.thecoachellavalleyartscene.com. The McCallum Theatre is concluding its season with a couple of great locally focused events. At…
02 Apr 2015
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Marie Osmond has recorded numerous albums, been on many television shows, and written a handful of books; now she’s bringing “An Intimate Evening With Marie and Friends” to Fantasy Springs Resort Casino on Saturday, April 4. Marie Osmond comes from a Mormon family, and was one of nine children. Some of her brothers—she’s the only female among the nine—were teen-pop megastars as The Osmonds. The Osmond family’s musical success was due in large part to their father, George. “My dad believed in hiring the best and managed our finances,” Osmond said during a recent phone interview. “My dad was a brilliant orchestrator, and he made sure we always worked with the very, very best.” The family’s success in the music business is well-documented. “There are not many of us who can say we’ve worked consistently in the entertainment business for five decades,” she said. “We’re fortunate to say we’re still…
30 Mar 2015
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The Coachella Valley today is home to a healthy, growing music scene—but it wasn’t always that way. In the 1980s, young local musicians were forced to basically create their own music scene. These kids had no idea they would one day be considered pioneers. One of these pioneers is Brant Bjork, the drummer for and one of the founders of Kyuss. He’ll be appearing at Coachella on Friday, April 10 and 17, with his latest project, Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band. In 1987, while in high school, Bjork got together with Josh Homme and John Garcia to form the band that became Kyuss. Of course, Kyuss went on to become one of the most influential rock bands of the early ’90s, putting Palm Desert on the map for desert rock—or stoner rock, as some people called it. In 1994, Bjork left Kyuss due to a conflict with…